Tahoe to Whitney mapset

By denovo - Posted on 30 May 2017

Hey everyone, I'm new to this forum. A few years I thru hiked the JMT all 220 miles (if add in mileage to resuppies it actually works out over), and thinking about another trip maybe a little longer and Tahoe to Whitney sounds new and exciting. I've been searching, on the Internet and I haven't found the answer yet.... Or maybe I have and I'm just unwilling to accept that answer. Tom Harrison publishes a map set for the John Muir Trail and I've wondering if there is a like map set for Tahoe to Whitney. Or what's my best option as as mapping to guide myself from Tahoe to Whitney.

Looking forward to exploring this great website I just found and finding ideas for future trips!!!

Happy trails Dave

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Hey Dave, Alex here, and I've faced this issue before! There is no "reasonable" mapping solution for the North Sierra from Tahoe to Yosemite Valley.

Desolation Wilderness, Meiss Roadless, the Mokelumne and Carson Iceberg Wilderness are all covered by rather large maps by the Dept of Ag.

The Dept of Ag. offers two maps, one covering their entire National Forests, while the "smallest" maps available for these areas cover the whole wilderness.

We can use the Wilderness Press custom Emigrant-North Yosemite Map once we get down to Sonora Pass & the North end of Emigrant.

I made a "paper maps" page laying out our not-so-great range of options:


The Wilderness Press Emigrant Wilderness Map will carry us from Sonora Pass to Tuolumne Meadows, where the Harrison Mapset coverage will guide us down to the Whitney Portal.

It's funny you inquire, as one of my goals in writing this guide is to eventually produce the Tahoe to Whitney Custom Mapset covering the TYT, PCT, and JMT from T to W.

This will happen once I get the guide finished. My maps will be linked to the guide, forums, and all their information through the magic of digital tech...

Unfortunately, writing this guide is like wrestling a bear. Seemingly an impossible task possible only if everything else is sacrificed for the goal. It's a worthy goal.

I am hoping to finish the South end of the guide this year (I have about 200 more videos to make-I've got to figure out how to make one in less than a whole day...not including image processing, laying out the pages, and going over the trail data endlessly...)

I actually contacted a pro cartographer map guy, and he was positive on the project, but we are both too overwhelmed with mundane tasks to approach this project. But the Tahoe to Whitney Mapset is on the "middle-burner," just waiting until I get the guide close enough to finish to lay out all the underlaying info for the maps, and free up the time to do it.

Glad to see you here, and your issues well reflects the problems I've had putting together good mapping for the TW.

My solution so far has been to use the rather large and bulky Dept of Ag. Wilderness Maps, avoiding the problems of carrying too many maps and way too much map weight by sending the next map in each resupply bucket along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to send the last map home.

These maps give me the necessary detail and range of coverage for broader understanding of the terrain, than say the Halfmile Maps, but they are yet too big and too heavy.

I have visions of the perfect TW Mapsets with perfect balance between coverage and detail, links to guide info stored in your phone from the map, and customizations for side trips and alt routes.

Great Question Dave, one that I plan on having a much better answer to in the future than the present!

Happy Trails Bro!


Alex Wierbinski

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